Masses of Yemeni Women Defy Oppression–And Stereotypes


When a wave of protesters took to the streets in the Yemeni city of Taiz this week, a mass of black-clad women once again stood out in the crowd. To Westerners, their conservative dress might seem incongruous in a pro-democracy uprising, but these women represent the backbone of Yemen’s revolution: ordinary people galvanized by unbearable […]

Saudi Women Drive!


Millions of eyes were trained on Saudi Arabia this Friday, June 17. Would Saudi women be able to fulfill their online pledge to drive cars, in defiance of the kingdom’s demobilizing ban? As participant Solafa Kurdi told Ms.: It’s my right. There’s nothing mentioned in my religion that I’m not supposed to be able to […]

Iraqi Feminists Sexually Assaulted During Pro-Democracy Protests


In Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Friday, four women participating in a pro-democracy demonstration were molested and beaten by government-sponsored protesters who swarmed the square. Those assaulted were a part of a 25-woman delegation from the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, the country’s leading women’s rights group, there to create a visible women’s presence in the […]

Can Social Networking Put Saudi Women Behind the Wheel?


Since 1979, women have not been allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Manal Al-Sharif–who learned to drive in the U.S.–is fed up with the rule. So she posted a video on YouTube explaining why protesting women will start driving in Saudi Arabia beginning on June 17, and who the organizers of the “I Will Drive […]

Breaking the Breast-Cancer Stigma in Saudi Arabia


In October of last year, more than 4,000 women in black abayas topped with pink ponchos gathered together in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to form a giant ribbon in support of breast cancer research–the largest human awareness ribbon to date. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the country–nearly one-quarter of all cancers–so the campaign […]

Fawzia Koofi: Making a New Afghanistan For Her Daughters


The winter of 2000 was cold in the Wakhan Corridor, one of the remotest regions in northern Afghanistan, as the Taliban were closing in on what remained of a flimsy resistance. Fawzia Koofi, 25 at the time, was traveling with a team of medical surveyors. She had left behind her dying husband and her 16-month-old […]

Iran’s Green Tuesdays


If it’s Tuesday in Tehran, it must be time to protest. At least that’s been the case in Iran for the past couple of weeks, and probably will continue to be true during the next couple as well. And one of the best reasons to protest is on behalf of the rights of women. “Tuesdays […]

Vogue Highlights the Design of Dictators

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One of the most electrifying outcomes of the recent protests in the Middle East and North Africa has been the shattering of myths about Arabs and Muslims that have for too long been fed to the West: that the women are voiceless, passive creatures apathetic about their country’s political processes. Of course now the truth […]

You Can Protest with the Women Liberating the Middle East


On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a group of feminists from across the Middle East have joined together as Women United for the Future of the Middle East to call for regionwide demonstrations in support of women’s rights. They’ve drawn support from the likes of, Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press […]

Iraqi Feminists Join Street Protests


Editors’ note: The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) has hit the streets to ensure that women are a visible presence in the Friday anti-corruption protests inspired by Egypt’s revolution. Of the March 4 protests, OWFI President Yanar Mohammed writes to Ms.: The women of our organization insist to participate in the national struggle […]